Patty Tavatanakit, UCLA Phenom

Patty Tavatanakit not only won the 2018 ANNIKA Intercollegiate - one of the biggest tournaments in NCAA women's golf - but she did it with a record-setting effort.

Tavatanakit, a sophomore from Thailand, shot a final-round 63 to win by a single stroke. The score set a new course record at Royal Golf Club in Lake Elmo, Minn., and it also tied the UCLA school record first established last season by Lilia Vu.

But Patty's round was even more impressive than that. She started the final round in ninth place and seven strokes off the lead. Through her first eight holes, she was even-par.

But starting on the ninth hole, Tavatanakit made seven birdies in a row. Then she threw in the winning eagle on the final hole, playing the back nine in just 28 strokes.

“Coming into the week I did not expect to win,” Tavatanakit told Golfweek. “Even yesterday, I was struggling ... I was hoping that good things would happen and they did.”

Understatement alert.

Patty is coming off a freshman year at UCLA in which she played all 10 tournaments and won three of them, including a tie for the Pac-12 Championship. Tavatanakit also threw in a 2nd-place and a 3rd-place finish; in the other five events, she finished no lower than 19th.

How Swede It Is for Young Pro Linnea Strom

The latest first-time winner as a pro is Linnea Strom, whose initial professional victory happened in the 2018 Sioux Falls GreatLIFE Challenge, a Symetra Tour tournament in South Dakota.

Strom scored an eagle and four birdies in her final round and finished at 11-under 269. That was one stroke ahead of runner-up Charlotte Thomas of England.

Strom is from Sweden, but has played most of her golf in the United States over the past five years. That's because she headed to Arizona State University to play NCAA golf, graduating in 2017. And she played it very well, earning All-America recognition. Among her college tournament victories was the 2016 Pac-12 Conference individual championship.

The $31,000 winner's check in South Dakota rocketed Strom up the Symetra Tour's money list, from 24th place to second. Her previous best finish was a tie for third, and she also has 8th-, 11th-, 12th, 14th- and 16th-place finishes among her Symetra Tour successes in 2018.

Meet International Golfer Minami Levonowich

Minami Levonowich is a woman of the world. She was born in England to a Japanese mother and American father. As a child she lived in England, Russia, Switzerland and the United States. Today she lives in Japan and works in Taiwan.

It must be difficult for friends and family to keep up with her!

Levonowich is a professional golfer whose journey includes being part of the University of Kansas women's golf team. But today she plays primarily on the Taiwan LPGA Tour. From her current home base in Japan, Minami is able to play tournaments across Asia, not just Taiwan but also Korea, China and Southeast Asia.

At recent tournaments in the Philippines, Minami was excited to find four fellow Kansas Jayhawks playing those events, too. It "blew my mind because no other school came even close to that," she said.

Levonowich's itinerant childhood serves her golf well today, she believes: "Since I grew up playing golf in 'European' weather, I feel like my golf style is good for harsh, windy conditions, and maybe that’s why I fit well in Kansas and Taiwan because it's also known to be very windy there."

Her family ultimately moved to the United States so Minami could pursue golf more seriously at the IJGA golf academy in South Carolina. She spent her high school years there, which led to the scholarship offer from Kansas. Her senior season at KU was 2014-15.

Living in Japan now and playing tournaments across Asia has opened up other opportunities for her, too. She's done some modeling and has appeared on multiple television shows.

One of those TV shows was the KLPGA-themed Cinderella Story, a Big Break-style competition for golfers from various Asian countries (plus Minami, who represented the U.S.) competing for opportunities to play in Korea.

"We spent about two days in Seoul at this amazing hotel called Paradise City where we filmed the title screen, and then we flew to Malaysia and did all the challenges," she said. "It was one of the best experiences of my life and those 11 girls became like family to me since we did almost everything together."

One of the results of her television time is that Minami is now sometimes recognized by fans who've seen her on TV. "It still feels so new to me, so when people come up to me saying they saw me on TV, I get so shocked," she said.

What does the future hold for Levonowich? She'd love to make it onto the Japan LPGA: "That has always been my dream from when I was in college. However, it’s one of the harder tours to get into." She's also establishing a recruiting business, matching young Japanese golfers with American colleges.

A return to the U.S. is something she looks forward to, too.

"I love the U.S. and eventually I want to move back, but for now there are just too many opportunities for me here."

One of those opportunities comes up in February, when Minami plans to take a shot at another tour, playing the China LPGA's Q-School.

You can follow Minami's journey on Instagram (@ minami.levonowich) and Twitter (@MinamiAnna93).

2018: The Summer of Yealimi Noh

Yealimi Noh is having quite the summer in 2018. On Sunday, July 22, she won her third big tournament - and it's the biggest of them all for juniors: The U.S. Girls' Junior Championship.

Noh defeated 13-year-old Alexa Pano, 4 and 3, in the championship match, which was played just four days before Noh's 17th birthday. In the quarterfinals, Noh defeated Valery Plata of Colombia, 7 and 5; and in the semifinals she beat Gina Kim of North Carolina.

Noh, from Concord, Calif., entered the 2018 U.S. Girls' Junior ranked No. 54 in the World Amateur Golf Rankings. She'll obviously be moving up. Eventually, she'll be moving on the UCLA for college golf (at least that is the plan as of now).

Earlier this summer Noh won the AJGA's Hana Financial Group Se Ri Pak Junior Championship, one of the big events of junior golf. And just a couple weeks ago she won another of the "junior majors," the Junior PGA Championship, with a record-setting score of 24-under 264.

Muni He Collects Her First Symetra Tour Victory

Muni He has the change to become a major star in golf and she took a major step in the right direction by winning the Symetra Tour's 2018 Prasco Charity Championship. The tournament, played in Cincinnati, Ohio, concluded on July 1.

He won comfortably, finishing four strokes ahead of runner-up Becca Huffer. He carded rounds of 65, 69 and 67, finishing at 15-under 201.

He, who is from China and whose nickname is Lily, is in her rookie year as a pro after spending two seasons on the University of Southern California golf team. In nine previous appearances on the Symetra Tour in 2018, Muni's previous best finish was a tie for seventh place. That was her only Top 10 until winning the Prasco Charity Championship.

He boasts a stellar pedigree in junior and amateur golf. She is also, as might guess from the photos, an amateur model. She has more than 140,000 followers on Instagram. And as her golf career heats up, expect her modeling career to heat up, too.

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Why There's a 6 at the End of Jeongeun Lee's Name

Should we say that Jeongeun Lee possesses quite a bit of ... six appeal?

If you follow women's golf and, specifically, check the scores of tournaments, then you have noticed something odd. In scores, Korean golfer Jeongeun Lee's name often includes the number "6." It appears in the scores as Jeongeun Lee6, for example. Or, sometimes, as Jeongeun6 Lee.

Here are two examples, screenshots of the USGA and LPGA leaderboards from the 2018 U.S. Women's Open, showing both versions:

What's up with that?

Have to admit, when I first noticed this I thought something was being lost in translation from the Korean. But no, it's just a six, and it's there at Jeongeun Lee's request.

The explanation is simple. When Lee first arrived on the Korean LPGA several years ago, she found five other Lees named Jeongeun already on tour. So she added the "6" to differentiate herself from the rest. Now you know.